Why Your Christmas Tree Might be Making Your Allergies Worse

It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but according to experts, the Christmas trees and other decorations brought into homes during the holiday season can actually cause serious respiratory illness.

Whether you use live trees or artificial trees, experts at AdvantaClean say that there are hazards present that should be addressed before you put up your holiday decorations.

Citing statistics from the EPA, AdvantaClean says that concentrations of pollutants tend to be two-to-five times higher inside of homes than they are outdoors, meaning that the addition of trees, decorations and other holiday essentials can cause serious respiratory issues for Americans dealing with allergies, asthma and other problems.

With live Christmas trees, experts say that the pollen and mold remaining on trees can cause breathing difficulties. Artificial Christmas trees come with their own sets of issues, as they tend to accumulate dust and mold spores while they’re in storage during the year.

Before you put up a live tree, experts advise you to:

-Hose off the tree to remove pollen and mold, and to let the tree dry before bringing it inside

-Wear gloves and long sleeves while carrying the tree to avoid skin contact with sap

-Wipe down the trunk of the tree with a solution of 1-part bleach, 20 parts lukewarm water

Artificial trees should be treated in similar fashion:

-Wrap your tree securely when it’s not in use, and then store it in a cool and dry place

-Wipe down the tree before setting it up

Any Christmas decorations should be dusted off before use, and those with respiratory issues should avoid scented sprays, artificial snow, scented candles and even poinsettias, which are toxic to some pets and can cause rashes or breathing problems from those who are sensitive to latex.

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